For the last year (2013 inclusive), I did nothing but complain about new music. Then I discovered The Future Collective, an arts and music organization in my very own town of Brattleboro, VT. Crazy how these things turn out — that just as I had despaired of finding happening music outside a big city, a fringe scene arts collective would pop up right here, 6 blocks away.
And so it came to pass, after many hot, sweaty, shows in the tiny room that is the Future’s performance space that a grand event was organized, a gathering of the tribes as it were, with over 40 bands. This three day extravaganza was called Future Fest, and friends, it was fun. Exhausting, but fun.
This year’s Fest was the third annual, held mainly in The Church with one extra show at Headroom Space. Both venues are perfect for shows in that the only seating is around the sides of the room, leaving lots of dance floor for pogoing, moshing, or just standing around.
The nice thing about The Future Collective (or, the Future, as they are known) is that artists they bring in are invariably nothing whatsoever like any music that is currently trending elsewhere on social media, radio, television or other above-the-radar venue. In fact, there’s almost no summarizing the acts that have played the Future this year other than to say that their commonality is originality. Even the so-called ‘pop’ groups aren’t doing 2014 pop — they’re doing ’60s meet the ’90s, or girl group with attitude, or goth crooning, or something else.
At Future Fest, we heard indie bands, singer songwriters, electronic gearheads, performance art, lots of punk rock, pop, and more. When I say more, I mean: Wooly Mar (who doesn’t want to be famous), great songs from And The Kids (“existential glitter popsicle crisis”), Final Frontiers (New England pop punk), Jacques Le Coque (peppy rock), Crank Sturgeon (interactive story-telling), Belle Machine (fun pop), Zander (songwriter from Connecticut), The Snazz and The Horseys (two extremely different local teen groups), area faves Homebody and The Grudges, and MV and EE (“psychedelic windtunnel from Guilford”). Among others.
It was a relief to hear the immense variety of music that people are still thinking up these days, and to know that the spirit of indie (whose roots are in independence) is still alive. Thank you, Future Collective, for giving music back to the people — of Brattleboro and beyond.